Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Francisco MIGNONE (1897-1986) Fantasia Brasileira No. 3 (1935) [13’05].
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 (1944) [9’04]. As Três Marias (1939) [4’29].
Barrozo NETTO (1881-1941) Minha Terra [1’55].
Edino KRIEGER (b. 1928) Sonatina (1957) [6’01].
Ronaldo MIRANDA (b. 1948) Concertino (1986) [16’48].
Marlos NOBRE (b. 1939) Concertante do Imaginário, Op. 74 (1989) [19’03].
Clélia Iruzun (piano)
Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez.
Rec. July 2nd-3rd, 2002 at St Paul’s Church, London. DDD
LORELT LNT115 [70’26]


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS


The sheer effervescence of Brazilian music, its larger-than-life thirst for never-ending vitality, is there for all to hear in its electric rhythms and panoramic colours. Lorelt evidently aimed to celebrate the kaleidoscopic dynamism of this country with one of its pianists, the young Clélia Iruzun, whose sheer joie-de-vivre is infectious. Her previous success with The Waltz Album was obviously well-founded. No surprise either, that Cuban conductor Odaline de la Martinez sounds thoroughly immersed in this music’s modes of expression and totally at home with her own ensemble, Lontano. Some pieces are for soloist and ensemble; some for ensemble; some for solo piano, and by mixing them carefully, this becomes a well thought-through and varied programme.

Francisco Mignone’s Fantasia Brasileira No. 3 is high-spirited fun, well-crafted and designed to make the most of the soloist’s virtuosity. It makes for the ideal ‘starter’, fizzing along as it does in its own invigorating fashion. The beginning, curiously, almost sounds as if it started just before we start listening (is this bad editing or an unclear upbeat from Martinez?), but there is little doubt where the manic coda is going. Iruzun and Martinez perform the chamber orchestra version; I can only imagine the full orchestra version to be even more extrovert.

Villa-Lobos’ Bachiana brasileiras No. 9 was originally for an ‘orchestra’ of voices, but was later arranged for strings by the composer. The slow and mysterious Prelude leads to an 11/8 fugue (!) – the time signature makes it feel quite jaunty. Lontano (minus piano soloist) play well, but the recording makes the strings sound over-scrawny at levels above mezzo-forte. The other Villa-Lobos piece featured is the As Três Marias for piano solo, of 1939. These are little treasures, and Iruzun plays them beautifully. The second, ‘Alnilam’ is really delicate, a real Brazilian music-box and the clear highlight of the disc, despite the more obvious roof-raising virtuosity on show elsewhere (the three movements are entitled ‘Alnitah’, ‘Alnilam’ and ‘Mintika’, three children’s characters and names given to the belt stars of Orion).

It is good to be able to contextualise Villa-Lobos, and here he is in company that is never less than interesting. Netto’s Minha terra (‘My homeland’) is pure Brazil encapsulated in less than two minutes’ worth of music; Edino Krieger’s Sonatina is full of longing, more obvious in the Moderato first movement, but still noticeably under the surface in the Allegro finale.

Ronaldo Miranda’s Concertino for piano and strings is one of that composer’s most popular works. It is neo-tonal and transparent in both its harmonies and scoring. Iruzun is particularly impressive in the more reflective passages that are characterised by their registral displacement of motifs (almost ‘stellar’ in nature). The piece makes an effective contrast with Marlos Nobre’s Concertante do Imaginário, quite dissonant and exciting in its first movement, itself in stark relief to the much more romantic second movement. If the gestures of the finale might all sound a bit hackneyed these days, there remains plenty of energy here, and this is as uplifting a way as any to put the final pieces to this mosaic.

Recording is acceptable, if a bit cruel on exposed string writing.

Colin Clarke


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.